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“Sorry to break the bubble” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Ola at the Sanctuary

Ola at the Sanctuary
1745 James Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
305 695 9125
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Ranked #12 of 865 Restaurants in Miami Beach
Price range: $25 - $65
Cuisines: South American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 17th
Description: Good for Romance, Special Occasions, Entertaining Clients, Large Groups, Private DiningDinner Options: Reservations, Dessert, Late Night, Out door Dining, Private or Semi Private dining available for large groups
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Sorry to break the bubble”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We booked in to Ola after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor. We are on our third visit to Miami, but have been disappointed at the way prices seem to have shot up dramatically, and the culture now seems to be to grab as much money as you can from tourists - eg no prices on cocktail menus, 18% service charges added automatically. We had high hopes for Ola - brilliant reviews, of the tourist beaten track, situated in an un-pretentious motel, an interesting menu. Unfortunately our hopes were let down, and our poor current view of Miami Beach was further re-informed. I'll start with the positives:
- my watermelon mojito was delicious
- the main course of slow cooked pork we both ordered was very tasty (if rather expensive!)
- we sat next to a very nice and interesting Swiss couple who were very nice company (their table was so close they may as well have been on the same table).
The negatives in chronological order were:
- the black pastry on my much lauded lobster empanadas was heavy, tasteless and very hard - I thought that it should have been light and 'feathery' to taste.
- the restaurant became very packed very quickly. This normally feels fine for me as I like a buzz, but it felt frantic, crowded and very noisy. Not what I would normally expect from a good restaurant experience.
- my husband's sparkling water was topped up with still water without him being asked.
- our starter plates were cleared away very quickly, which is good, but then within a minute or two our main courses appeared. I was shocked, as my very heavy starter hadn't even started to go down. I said to the waitress that we had only arrived at the restaurant twenty minutes earlier, and were in danger of finishing within half an hour (politely, by the way), and she then appeared to become surly and said it was our choice, we could have it now or wait as long as we wanted. We opted to wait. When she went away, our Swiss fiends pointed out that there are more dollars to be made with quick turn-rounds. We felt like we were in Macdonalds!
- My glass of wine (the prices for bottles were extortionate) still hadn't arrived, even though I had now asked 3 different waiters. It eventually did arrive about 20 minutes after ordering.
- The bill for 2 cocktails, 1 glass of wine, 2 starters, 2 main courses and 2 coffees was $188, or £130. Not particularly high by extortionate Miami standards, but for that amount in my lovely home city of Birmingham (OK, no ocean but the. Canals are great) would buy you a fantastic all evening dining experience in a fabulous restaurant like Purnells or Simpsons, just no comparison in my view.
- At the end of the evening we went to the loo. We walked through the hotel which another guest commented looked more like a hostel than a hotel (although I thought the hotel looked OK), and when we arrived at the toilets, there was a queue for both the men's and women's as there was only one cubicle for each. Then to add insult to injury when I eventually got into the loo, there was no toilet paper, just an empty cardboard roll, and there was no hand dryer, although to be fair there were still a few paper hand towels left. When we got back to our hotel (The Tides, which is lovely, by the way) I visited the loo there while we had a drink from the bar, and the difference was stark.

That's it, but suffice to say we won't be eating at Ola again anytime soon!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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735 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
“Very recommended!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

Great place if you want to try a mix of what south america has to offer with a special south beach touch! Great drinks & fab food! Highly recommend among the more fine dining places at a reasonable cost.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
“a MUST of miami beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We ended our trip with a dinner at OLA and let me just say the reviews did not lie. This place was absolutely amazing from the homemade warm rolls to the fire and ice ceviche and lobster empanada. The appetizers were decent portions, enough for three of us to split and enjoy. For entrees I had the pinono, which was a sweet plantain lasanga style dish, filled with zucchini, peppers, tomato, etc. It was PHENOMINAL. Something completely different that I had never experienced. One of us had the duck entree and it was a huge dish. The flavors were delicious and the staff was so accommedating and helpful with explanations and recommendations. Overall this restaurant was delightful and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys and high end, classy and delicious meal.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goiania, GO
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“one of the best meal of the trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

This is a small restaurant at a hotel at south beach.Food was very good.We had ceviches as appetizers and 3 differents entrees and all were great.Even my wine by the glass was good as dessert that we shared

Visited July 2013
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Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“The best restaurant, the best menu and the best service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Ola is located in the Sanctuary Hotel about one block north of Lincoln Avenue. When you enter the hotel, you are in the restaurant Ola. They have both indoor and outdoor seating. This restaurant is quite exceptional. The decor is beautiful and sexy.
We love restaurants that make it easy to sample their fair through a combination of apps and small plates. Ola delivers for those who enjoy variety and easy sampling. We started with a ceviche, there are about ten to choose from. You could make a dinner out of their many ceviche. The Mystery Meatballs are excellent and the sauce is fabulous. We split the Churassco steak and then finished with the Tres Banana dessert. It was outstanding and the service was attentive and helpful. It is clear that this is one of the leading upscale restaurants in Miami Beach.
If you need a cab, just walk a block to Lincoln Avenue and any or the cross streets should have available cabs.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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